8 Secret Tips for Your Hong Kong Disneyland Visit

8 Secret Tips for Your Hong Kong Disneyland Visit

Explore Hong Kong Disneyland like a pro with these useful tips and secrets you never knew about.

Ah, Disneyland, the happiest place on earth.

This whimsical wonderland on Lantau Island is a prized gem for fans of all ages, from anywhere and everywhere! From the new Star Wars makeover of Hyperspace Mountain to unique attractions like Mystic Manor that are found exclusively in Hong Kong Disneyland, the park is a dreamlike paradise that’ll send you on a nostalgic trip back to your favourite childhood shows.

After visiting Hong Kong Disneyland a few times since its opening eleven years ago, we’ve compiled a list of secrets we’ve discovered. Give these tricks a shot to make the most of your magical holiday.

1. Arrive early and start your explorations from Toy Story Land

Image credit: katsuhiro7110

This may seem like a no-brainer, but set out early and start queuing before the park opens! The relatively late opening time of 10am should give you ample time to get to the park’s entrance from whichever part of Hong Kong you’re staying at. We suggest arriving at least 45 minutes before the gates open, keeping in mind that you’ll have to first buy or collect your physical tickets in a separate queue. Compared to its counterparts, the Hong Kong theme park attracts a smaller crowd in the morning, which is definitely great news! From our past experience, the place gets the most crowded after lunch, around 2pm. So start your day early and beat the crowds to maximise the fun!

When the gates of Hong Kong Disneyland open promptly at 10am, expect visitors, locals and tourists alike to be rushing into the magical park. Consider yourself warned: these fans mean business! But don’t get too excited yet; the initial opening only gives you access to the foremost section of Disneyland, Main Street USA (fun fact: the Hong Kong edition of Main Street is mostly built with wood, unlike stone that’s used for the other Disneylands). Head towards the iconic castle, and you’ll be greeted with a rope barricading the rest of the theme park.

At this point, your dearest characters will be teeming around the main street for the raved photo opportunities. However, our recommendation is to grit your teeth and ignore Mickey and Minnie for now, and run as far front as you can get – there’ll be plenty more photo opportunities throughout the day! Around 10.30am, you’ll bear witness to the customary ‘rope drop’. After which, you’re free to roam the rest of Disneyland!

Now that you’re in the park, start your explorations from the lands furthest away from the main street. This is the best way to avoid the crowd, who will be coming in from the opposite direction. Make your way to Toy Story Land located at the far northwest of the theme park for some thrilling rides in the colourful Pixar world! On our way there, we made a quick stop en route to get a FASTPASS of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Fantasyland (but more about that later!).

2. Download the Hong Kong Disneyland mobile app

Nowadays, there seems to be an app for everything. Hong Kong Disneyland is no different! On your iPhone or Android devices, download the park’s mobile app for some insider information such as the wait times of rides and a detailed schedule of the showtimes. It’ll definitely help you plan your route to maximise the number of rides and attractions you can visit! The app even depicts a map charting the characters’ whereabouts. This was a game changer for us and it saved us a lot of unnecessary walking time between the different lands.

3. Beat the queue with a FASTPASS

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The Disneyland FASTPASS lets you bypass the standby line – that is, the main queue at attractions – to get first priority for your rides with minimum wait time. Unlike some other theme parks that require you to buy an additional FASTPASS ticket, there’s no need for that in Hong Kong Disneyland. Simply scan your admission ticket at the distributing machines to collect a FASTPASS ticket for later use, at no additional cost!

Hong Kong Disneyland offers FASTPASS tickets for three attractions – Fantasyland’s whimsical family-friendly ride, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tomorrowland’s thrilling Hyperspace Mountain and the newly opened Iron Man Experience. As mentioned, Pooh’s adventure is a must-see at the park, no matter your age! Simply put, it’s a magical journey through the Hundred Acre Wood with your favourite honey-loving (or, hunny-loving) bear. Since you can only collect one FASTPASS within the given time period, first priorities go to this amazing attraction!

It might take a while, but once you’ve successfully harnessed the time-bending prowess of the FASTPASS, you’ll be the savviest visitor in the park!

4. Meet characters at Fantasy Gardens  

Image credit: Jam Zhang

Meeting the Disney characters is insanely popular in Hong Kong Disneyland. After all, how often do you get to take a photo with your childhood tv heroes?

We found that the most reliable place for character meet-and-greets is the Fantasy Gardens, a picturesque lawn with meandering paths leading to gazebos where your favourite characters will be waiting for a photograph. Unsurprisingly, queues for the main star of the theme park, Mickey, would be the longest. But not to worry as there are usually a couple of other popular characters in the garden, including Goofy and Pluto!

Apart from that, you can expect characters to be walking all around the park! Some known unspoken places include the area in front of Explorer’s Club Restaurant at Mystic Point and outside Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland

5. Watch the incredible shows and parades

Image credit: Alexandra Moss

From the daily Flights of the Fantasy Parade to Mickey’s PhilharMagic and the dazzling “Disney In The Stars” Fireworks, chances are that you won’t be able to cover every single show in Hong Kong Disneyland. As such, plan ahead and pick the ones that you’re most interested in!

We highly recommend the musical extravaganza, the Festival of The Lion King at Adventureland. The 30-minute show blew our minds with their gigantic animal props and magnificent dance numbers choreographed with fire acrobats and aerial performances. The audience areas are specially designed to surround the stage, and we discovered that the best seats are at the top section furthest away from the entrance to the theatrette! Nonetheless, the performers do dance around the rotating stage pretty evenly, so you’ll be able to catch the visual spectacle of Pride Rock from all angles anyway.

Alternatively, if you’re willing to forgo the shows, the queues for rides are considerably much shorter during popular showtimes. This is most apparent when the parade is happening on the Main Street at 3.30pm. At Grizzly Gulch, the queue for the otherwise packed Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars was virtually non-existent! All in all, your best bet is to pick what interests you the most and conquer the attractions you want to see!

6. Hunt down the most Instagrammable spots

hong kong disneyland tips

Image credit: Ovedc

If you don’t Instagram Disneyland, were you really in Disneyland?

The park is filled with stunning locations perfect for taking Instagram-worthy photos to commemorate your magical experience. Forget the official PhotoPass Picture locations, our preferred spot to take in the wondrous view of the theme park is on board the Hong Kong Disneyland Railroad! Hop on the steam-powered locomotive at Fantasyland or the Main Street Station for a panoramic bird’s eye view of the entire park.

Another great photo spot is atop Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland. Accessible by a log raft, the 19-metre tall towering tree offers an unblocked view of the neighbouring Tomorrowland and Grizzly Gulch.

7. Collect stickers from cast members

hong kong disneyland tips

Here’s a secret: most of Hong Kong Disneyland’s cast members carry unique stickers and are more than happy to give them to visitors should they ask for one! Sometimes, be prepared to work for your sticker – We’ve been asked to sing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” in exchange for a particular highly sought-after sticker of Elsa! During special seasons, there are even exclusive limited-edition stickers to add to your collection.

8. Stay until the very last minute

hong kong disneyland tips

Image credit: kawiikiri

Being the last person to leave the Sleeping Beauty Castle is definitely worth the long day in Hong Kong Disneyland. When most visitors have gone, you’ll be able to enjoy the awesome view of the park all by yourself. Take in the magic of the final moments of a day well-spent in the happiest place on earth!

So the next time you visit Hong Kong Disneyland, use these insider tips to explore like a pro!

About Author

Stephanie Lauw
Stephanie Lauw

Stephanie is an English literature and film student who has succumbed to the occupational hazard of over-analysing her favourite TV shows. She enjoys theatre and music, and dabbles with both by writing bad plays and experimenting with her band. Her current dream is to island hop the filming locations of all the seasons of Survivor.

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